Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

“In the beginning, when we were winning, when the smiles were genuine” – Manic Street Preachers.

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

It’s been ages since I moved to Poland, (10 months!!) and I still believe that we are all perpetual students until the day we die. We are always learning, always studying. We are forever on a learning cycle on this planet. As far as learning languages is concerned, I know I haven’t always been the best at it. But I always want to improve. At school I studied French, German and Latin and at times, I wasn’t totally into those subjects. I can still travel around French and German speaking countries and read menus, and get by. As it turned out, the LATIN I used to slag off in the Paddy Campbell days, came in DAMN HANDY. But I was a speaking novice. I couldn’t engage in much stimulating conversation. This is a rejig of an old post, which originally appeared on http://dontstopliving.net/ , reconstituted in the wake of my new start learning Polish in Warsaw.

Gorgeous Gdansk. I fell in love with this town very easily…

In 2010, I spent a month in Uruguay, learning Spanish in Montevideo, living with a local family and that was a cool challenge. In the end, my Spanish was again just about enough to get by in Spanish speaking countries. I passed the course and continued my travels. The Spanish came in useful of course as I later backpacked through places like El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Nicaragua.

Backpacking Uruguay, 2010

Backpacking Uruguay, 2010

Living in Montevideo, Uruguay with Perla

Studying Spanish in Montevideo, Uruguay

In 2015, I spent a month in Hong Kong learning Cantonese (written in traditional Chinese). This was the toughest language challenge to date. But somehow my wandering heart didn’t hang around. I finished the first 4 weeks of an 8 week course but I was off backpacking in Bangladesh soon after. I never finished the course and I only returned to Hong Kong once since, to collect my belongings and relocate to Poland.

On Hong Kong Radio 3 in 2015 during a quintet of years in the Asian country

Studying Cantonese at the University of Hong Kong

Whackpacking Nathan Road in Hong Kong

Then in 2016, it was the first time I lived in Eastern Europe for longer than a month. I decided to stay put in Gdańsk for a while and the natural move was to start learning Polish. I think this is one of the biggest challenges of my travels yet as I attempt to read, write and speak Polish. I want to be good at Polish. With Chinese it was only speaking really. I first enrolled as a student at Polish in Gdańsk in July 2016 after meeting Pani Alina. Despite being busy and some troubles in the past few months, I have still managed to keep learning and had 2 more lessons in December 2016. Moving into 2017, I then started study at Klub Dialogu at Warsaw’s Swankaday Nowy Swiat.

Studying Polish in Gdansk with Pani Alicja

Studying Polish in Gdansk with Pani Alina

Studying Polish in Gdansk with Pani Alina

My teacher in Gdansk is Pani Alina, last summer typically my classes each day were from 12.30 pm to 2 pm, with an hour of homework and however long I wanted to dedicate myself to additional learning. Sometimes I also have lessons with Pani Alicja if Pani Alina is not there. Everytime I return to Gdansk now, I try to line up a lesson with Pani Alina.

Studying Polish in Gdansk with Pani Alina

Studying Polish in Gdansk with Pani Alina

The classroom

The corridor

The room

The gorgeous building

Nervous first day

My desk for learning

I study in Room 121 on the first floor of the building called Dom Harcerza on Ulica Za Murami 2/10, 22-100 Gdańsk Old Town – https://www.domharcerza.pl/

I was studying Monday to Fridays only. This gives me weekends free for backpacking, writing and socialising. I am getting intensive 1 to 1 lessons. I started off in my first week by learning simple everyday phrases, learning how the alphabet letters are pronounced, a few nouns, a few adjectives and a few verbs. I can also count from 1-100 in Polish now.

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

I’m now busy blogging, and working in Warszawa. But it was in Starogard Gdanski that I finished writing my book in July 2016, and life is action packed here, but I am enjoying this new challenge and look forward to sharing my story again in July 2017, once I know a little bit more Polish. I am so glad I ended up in Gdańsk, studying Polish and that backpacking ended. Life was stale for a while in my life, depression was major league soccer and I finally found a home to stay, where I haven’t ever not felt at home.

“Warsaw skies they won’t rain on you” – Jonny Blair, 2007.

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

Dziwaczne Odkrycia: My Intensive Polish Course at Learn Polish in Gdańsk

My Book Backpacking Centurion was completed in Starogard Gdanski in July 2o16, final edit in Gdansk the same month.

Ola Mueller lied to her friend Jonny Blair when he toured her town Starogard Gdanski tourist

Backpacking Starogard Gdanski in July 2016

My Polish classes are right in the heart of Old Town Gdańsk, which is amazing! Here are the details for booking Polish lessons here in Gdańsk:

  • ul. Za Murami 2, p. 121
    80-823 Gdańsk, POLAND
    Email: office@polishingdansk.pl
    Telephone: +48 534 996 030
    Skype: Polish in Gdansk

As I was not blogging as much as I used to, here are some photos from my first few weeks in Poland in 2016, before I decided to live here long term. As you can see, life is damn busy and I am having fun again! #dontstopliving #northernirishmaninpoland

Backpacking in nearby Kokoszkowy

Dining out at Kubicki, Gdansk’s Oldest Restaurant with Starogard Gdański girl Ola Mueller

Watching Legia Warszawa this week in Poland!

Touring Starogard Gdanski

Backpacking Gdansk

Piątkowe Picie: Best 8 Bars in Starogard Gdański

Piątkowe Picie: Local Brewery Browar Kociewski

Śmieszne Historie o Piłce Nożnej w Polsce: On the Kazimierz Deyna Pilgrimage Tour in Starogard Gdański, Poland’s “George Best”

Lech Wałęsa, Poland's first leader after communism

Lech Wałęsa, Poland’s first leader after communism

Quirky Encounters: Irish Dancing in Gdańsk, Poland with Animus Saltandi and Dziewczyna w żółtych Spodniach

Quirky Encounters: Irish Dancing in Gdańsk, Poland with Animus Saltandi and Dziewczyna w żółtych Spodniach

My feature in the Gazeta Kociewska, Starogard Gdanski, POLAND

My feature in the Gazeta Kociewska, Starogard Gdanski, POLAND

A tank on the cycle tour

Pierogi ruskie with Mika

Pierogi, soup and beer

Smaczna Sroda: Dining Out at Kubicki, Oldest Restaurant in Gdańsk

Gdańsk style Pierogi

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